Students react to 2016 presidential election results

Nothing to fear

MARIO VEGA | Member of the College Republicans

Personally, I’m excited and elated that Donald Trump won the election. It’s a strange thing to say, especially since going into the Republican Primaries, I was not a fan of him. However, as the election wore on and I got to see the big picture, I saw Trump as the only choice for president.

I’ve been waiting many years for the Grand Old Party (GOP) to make the comeback that it did, and it’s both exhilarating and strange to know the House, Senate and the presidency are all in Republican control.

As someone who has been closely following politics for years now, it’s a new feeling to have the person you wanted to become president actually do it, and knowing reforms you’ve wanted may become a reality.

Trump is a smart, pragmatic person and that is exactly who we need running the country. His stances on immigration reform, restructuring trade, America in the geopolitical arena and the Constitution are all well thought out and will make America great again.

When you listen to what Trump says in context and in its entirety, not just the soundbites that the media manipulates, you find that a lot of what you’ve been told is an exaggeration or flat out disingenuous.

The truth about Donald Trump and what his presidency means for the Republic are far from the apocalyptic nightmare people are thinking it will be.

As a Mexican-American who is proud of being born in the U.S., I can say to people that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.

We may not agree with everything, but we need to come together as a nation. There are many issues that face us — now is not the time to buy into fear-mongering and lies.

The Clintons are done

MATTHEW SUTHERLAND | Member of the Young Democrats

We have little time to lose. There are legitimate reasons to fear a Trump presidency, especially for marginalized groups.

We’ve got two months to prepare for his promises of mass deportations or a Muslim ban, Steve Bannon as his chief strategist, his lack of concern for the environment, his Supreme Court of the United States pick and his call for the military to commit war crimes. And that’s his warm-up.

So what do we do?

Protesting has let the world know that Trump may be the president-elect, but his campaign rhetoric is not going to be excused and the divisions therein are on him.

“To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him,” Sen. Bernie Sanders said, to which I agree.

We must also continue to protest for #BlackLivesMatter, #NoDAPL, the environment and other issues, as well. We must reform the Democratic Party. The elitism needs to end and we must be a party for the working class.

We can support Keith Ellison for Democratic National Convention (DNC) Chair and we must reject any influence the Clintons have.

They are done. They are a liability to our party; they gambled with the safety of marginalized groups to further their own legacy and lost, putting us in danger. They are self-interested and leave more questions about motives and ethics than answers. #wikileaks #DNCleaks

Join your local Democrat meetings and help shape the party. Join the Young Democrats in your state and local area. Call your mayor and see if there are vacancies on a board. Run for office. Be engaged in your community.

And when the 2018 midterms come, show up and vote.

Respect the president

JAMES ALLSUP | President of the College Republicans

As the presidential election results poured in on Nov. 8, the 20 or so College Republicans members gathered together to watch the process on TV grew more and more optimistic.

First, North Carolina was called, and then Ohio. Shortly after that, Florida was called, and we all knew we had done it. The election of Donald J. Trump was a victory for every member of College Republicans at WSU and across the country. Over a year of ridicule, scorn and hatred from peers, professors and fellow students pales in comparison to the satisfaction brought by Trump’s miraculous victory.

The people of the United States made the decision to take a stand against globalism and open borders, to fight back against Washington corruption and to reject a rigged political and media system. Programs like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have helped jobs be siphoned out of the country.

Open borders have flooded the markets with workers, depressing the wages in formerly lucrative engineering and technology sectors, and Americans finally decided they had had enough. The Democratic Party’s abandonment of white working-class voters did not help either.

The party has instead decided to align itself with radical feminists, Black Lives Matter and others that seek to blame and shame white men, instead of working with them — and was then shocked when white men voted overwhelmingly for Trump.

The electorate was able to see through the media’s incessant whining and accusations of racism, sexism, bigotry and every other social justice buzzword. As it turns out, people care more about having a job than what a billionaire said to a Miss Universe contestant 20 years ago.

Trump is going to be our next president — no amount of protesting can change that. Regardless of our personal views, we must respect the office of our commander-in-chief.

‘Mourn with those who mourn’

LAUREN SKINNER | Small Group Leader at Resonate Church

I know very little about politics. I took a U.S. government class my senior year of high school and never looked back. What I do know is that the polls got it wrong, that everyone got it wrong.

I know that people’s hearts are breaking at the news that Donald Trump is the president-elect. I know that women view it as thousands of steps backward after generations of progress. I know illegal immigrants fear for their lives and their children’s future as Trump takes office.

I know the LGBTQ community fears for their safety. And I know that amid all this fear and trembling, Jesus Christ reigns as king. Jesus says “come all you who are weary, for my burden is light and my yoke is easy.”

God explains that Pharaoh, a hateful and terrible leader, became king so that the Israelites may know and glorify God better.

Jesus says “to mourn with those who mourn.” Knowing and trusting Jesus as king takes away any power Trump has to destroy my hope. My hope is not in the American government.

My hope is not in rights I may or may not have as a woman. My hope was not in Hillary Clinton breaking the glass ceiling.

You see, when God so captures your heart that you realize the creator of the universe loves you enough to send his only son to take your place on the cross so that you may know God and sit with him heaven, then an election is nothing.

The hope of Christ is not decreased based on Trump as president-elect. In fact, in these moments I believe Christ is longing for Christians to run to the broken and offer them the hope of the Gospel.

This was indeed God’s will so that people have nothing to cling to except him. If this truth speaks to you, check out Resonate to hear more about the hope I have in Christ.

Trump did not win the popular vote

KATHRYN SUTHERLAND | Member of the Young Democrats

Like so many of my peers, I woke up on Nov. 8 full of hope and excitement to see the first woman elected president and I went to sleep that night after many agonizing hours with watery eyes and an angry heart.

To be clear, my anger is not over my candidate losing. My anger comes from the man who took her place. Deep down, I know that not all Donald Trump supporters are racist, sexist xenophobes.

However, more than 60 million people in this country heard their presidential candidate say he wanted to ban all Muslims from entering the United States.

More than 60 million people watched their presidential candidate mock a disabled reporter in front of thousands, and it bothered them so little that they still voted for him. This is where my despair and the anger come from.

However, for everyone who has felt marginalized by this election, I give you this: Trump may have won the election, but he did not win the popular vote.

His campaign claimed that his supporters were the “silent majority.” They were wrong.

We are the silent majority. They will try to muffle our voices, but we cannot let that stop us. We do not agree with Trump’s damaging rhetoric and we will not let our voices be silenced.

Once the initial anger and sadness subsides, we must take action and find solace in knowing that we are not alone. Everyone who is upset by this election needs to take these results extremely personally.

We need to hold our government accountable. Write your representatives. Fight bigotry when you see it. Stand up for your fellow Cougars. Do your research and vote in the midterms.

And in the words of Hillary Clinton: “Please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”

‘You are welcome here’

NORA SABIA | Senior elementary education major

The election is over. Two campaigns shrouded in negativity, each with their own answers to America’s most pressing issues, have come to a close.

In the wake of these candidates, their greatest defenders and accusers are left — together — on the precipice of a new chapter in American history.

Political commentators, talk show hosts and everyone on Twitter each have their own unique prescription for the next steps forward.

There are so many voices yelling in our ears about exactly where we go from here. But, sometimes the voice that most needs to be heard is not the loudest, but rather it is the kind, quiet voice saying, “you are welcome here — in this classroom, and in my life.”

Education Psychology Professor Chad Gotch began his post-election conversation with his students with respect, compassion and sincerity — without verdict, without judgement, but with open arms.

We can all take a lesson from him. We all disagree and there is no way around that.

At the end of the most bitter and polarizing election in modern history, instead of working with our own side on the next fight, perhaps we should begin right now, today, from a place of kindness and respect, in the hope that we can thrive tomorrow — together.